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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Office of the Governor
Date: September 20, 2005
Gov. Warner Announces Purchase of Gloucester Property for New State Park
Middle Peninsula state park included in voter-approved bond package
RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced thecompletion of a major first step in establishing a new state park on Virginia’sMiddle Peninsula. The non-profit Trust for Public Land (TPL), working onbehalf of the Commonwealth, has acquired 438 acres of property on the YorkRiver in Gloucester County for a future state park. The state’s Departmentof Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is working with TPL to transfer thetitle and reimburse them for the $3.9 million cost of the property usinggeneral obligation bond funds.
The 2002 Parks and Natural Areas bond referendum called for acquisitionof land for a state park on the Middle Peninsula. More than two-thirds ofVirginia’s voters voted in favor of the bonds, which include $119 millionin purchases and upgrades.
“This is a tremendous first step in acquiring property that has thepotential to be a first-class state park,” said Governor Warner. “TheTrust for Public Land was able to work with a willing landowner to expeditethe sale and deliver this property to the people of Virginia. TPL has beena tremendous partner in this project.”
The property located in southern Gloucester County features three-quartersof a mile of frontage on the York River. The property is a mix of open fieldsand hardwood forests. It also joins a deep-water creek and features severalmarshlands.
“This is an outstanding property that will now be protected for futuregenerations to enjoy,” said TPL Senior Project Manager Debi Osborne. “Assistingthe state in taking ownership of this property for conservation purposesperpetuates our mission to conserve land for people.”
TPL is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that has acquirednumerous properties in Virginia including Kiptopeke State Park, propertyin Shenandoah County to become part of a Shenandoah River state park, andseven properties in the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
“Passage of the parks and natural areas bond package in 2002 was vitallyimportant,” Governor Warner said. “This project, and additionalones still in the pipeline, will allow Virginians to have even more opportunitiesto enjoy the great outdoors. It improves our quality of life by preservingopen spaces and endangered natural areas, and enhances the Commonwealth’simportant tourism industry.”
This purchase follows a lengthy search for properties in the area boundedby the Rappahannock and York rivers. Gloucester, Matthews and Middlesex countieswere included in the search area. The Gloucester County Department of Parks,Recreation and Tourism, the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commissionand the Middle Peninsula Land Trust were instrumental in bringing this propertyto the state’s attention.
There are no immediate plans to develop the property as a state park. Thefirst step will be DCR’s development of a master plan for the park.
2002 Parks and Natural Areas Bond Package Status
The bond called for acquisition and development of three new state parksand 10 new natural areas, and additions to 11 parks and eight preserves.
The bond was needed primarily to help develop parks - Belle Isle, JamesRiver, Shenandoah River, Wilderness Road - purchased under a 1992 bond. Italso provides greater outdoor recreation opportunities and enhances tourismand increases the economic benefits of parks to state and local economies.What did the bond provide?
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